A Shell Collector-Tried And True

Eleanor Miller
74 Years Young And 80 Feet Down

ODE TO A CONCHUS MILLERI
By Peter Theobald



All shell collectors tried and true,
will leave their mark behind
on shelves and sills, in boxes too.
‘Tis enough to blow your mind.

Let’s trace these lowly specimens
from sea to Ellie’s nook,
and dwell perchance on regimens
from Doctor Abbott’s book.

A thousand dollars worth of gear
will take you to their den,
and 30 days or so of training
will get you safely back again.

What do you mean “the sea’s too rough”?
Don't mind the cold and rain!
A true collector’s really tough,
courageous, bold, (and insane).

And now the rubber meets the road,
the hunter lashes out
to snatch that gem from its wet abode,
and turn him inside out.

A “Deadus Conchus” is no sweat,
a little bleach and you’ve got it.
But “Casa Occupada” and you can bet
it takes three days to rot it.

The smell, the goo, the desperate urge
to bury the whole damn mess,
before your gut decides to purge.
(My god what grave duress!)

But isn’t it grand on Shell Show day
when all this misery pays off.
Head up; Stand tall; Ah that’s the way.
Be careful not to scoff.

Your peers will surely vote your shell
the Conchologist Award it’s due.
What’s that? Oh fudge! Oh shoot! Oh well!
You’re a shell collector, tried and true.




Written for my very dear friend and diving buddy
Eleanor Miller
1918 - 1993
Resting in peace on Horseshoe Reef


Eleanor's Spot On The Grouper Snooper

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